Aviva Premiership
Castrogiovanni leaves with a swipe at 'unhappy' Leicester
ESPN Staff
July 3, 2013
Martin Castrogiovanni poses with some fans following his last appearance for the club at Twickenham in May © Getty Images

Martin Castrogiovanni, who left Leicester to join Toulon at the end of the season, has slammed the way the club and controversial director of rugby Richard Cockerill behaved in his final months.

In the same week Cockerill was slapped with a nine-match ban for his conduct during the Aviva Premiership final, Castrogiovanni spoke of his disappointment over the way his time at Welford Road ended.

Castrogiovanni had one year of his contract remaining and the club demanded compensation for him to break that, something he felt was unnecessary in light of the service he had given Leicester since 2006 and the indication they gave him that he did not feature in their plans.

"I am not ashamed to admit that I paid to join Toulon out of my own pocket," Castrogiovanni told the Rugby Paper. "It was the only way I had to do it. After all my years of service with Leicester, I did not expect them [chief executive Simon Cohen and Cockerill] to behave in such an ungracious manner towards me. I must say they have disappointed me terribly.

Leicester prop Martin Castrogiovanni puts a shirt on his bulldog 'Fatty', Leicester pre-season photocall, Oadby Oval, Leicester, England, August 25, 2009
In happier times ... Castrogiovanni puts a shirt on his bulldog 'Fatty' © Getty Images

"I have lost all respect for these two people, given the way they have spoken about me and the way they handled my departure."

He said that the club indicated he could go before then asking for compensation. "When your club tells your agent you can leave if you want, you know deep down that they really want no more of you."

Perhaps more worryingly for the club, he added that the dressing-room was not a content place. "You cannot hope to keep everyone happy by changing the squad around systematically and I can assure you that there are very few happy players at Leicester today. That is hard to say, but the truth cannot remain hidden forever.

"It is not the fault of the club because there are wonderful people working there and the Leicester fans are the same. I have always been straight with the club and its directors."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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